When a dog bites you or your child, the steps that you take immediately after the incident can help your case or hurt your case for damages. It is crucial that you avoid making some of the common mistakes people do after a dog bite that decreases their chance of recovering full compensation for their losses, injuries, and damages.
The Indianapolis dog bite injury lawyers of Poynter & Bucheri can help you avoid mistakes that hurt your injury claim such as:
Mistake Number 1: Not Reporting the Incident Immediately
You need to report a dog bite or dog attack to the police department and your local animal control agency. In some cases, the police department may refer you to the Department of Health to file a report. Filing a report provides a written record of the incident, which can be very important when you file a dog bite claim.
Mistake Number 2: Failing to Ask for Eyewitness Information
In many cases, eyewitnesses leave the scene of an injury after they determine they cannot offer any assistance. Before a witness leaves, ask the person for his or her name and contact information. The testimony from an eyewitness can be very important if your case goes to trial.
Mistake Number 3: Not Seeking Medical Attention Quickly
You need to see a doctor as soon as possible after a dog bite. Dog bites can cause severe infections and other complications if they are not treated. In addition, failing to seek medical treatment could be used by the insurance provider or the defense team to argue that you were not injured in the incident or you would have sought medical care immediately.
Mistake Number 4: Failing to Document Damages
To recover compensation for your damages, you must have proof of your damages. In addition to medical records, it is very helpful to have photographs of your injury. You should continue to take pictures of the area as you recover to demonstrate the severity of the dog bite. Also, you need to keep copies of all bills, invoices, and receipts that evidence financial losses you sustained because of the dog attack. Do not forget to keep a log of your missed time from work so that you can document your lost wages for the injury claim.
It can also help to keep a journal detailing your physical pain and emotional suffering during your recovery. In many cases, dog bite victims suffer emotional stress, nightmares, anxiety, PTSD, or fear of dogs after a dog bite. Keeping detailed notes about your pain and suffering can help increase your compensation.
Mistake Number 5: Failing to Consult with an Indianapolis Dog Bite Attorney
The insurance company, dog owner, or another party may offer you a settlement to release the parties from all liability. Failing to consult with an Indianapolis dog bite injury lawyer before accepting the settlement could result in a much smaller payment for your claim. An attorney can evaluate your case to determine if the offer of settlement is fair and just.